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Pet Tortoise Returns 4 Years After Escaping

10:34 AM, Jul 13, 2010   |    comments
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BRENTWOOD, N.H. (WMUR/CNN) -- Imagine the shock a couple in Brentwood got after their 25-pound tortoise dug her way out of her pen only to arrive back on their street nearly four years later.

The African Spur Thigh tortoise escaped from her pen at the Wellington Gardens in Brentwood.

It was October and owners, Mike and Christine Wellington, had little hope that she would survive given winter was approaching.

However, Lucy's species is native to the Sahara Desert and she knew exactly where to go to survive.

"When it's really dry, those tortoises will dig a hole (several) feet deep and sit for a year and wait for it to rain," said Mike Wellington. "And when it rains they come out and eat grass, so she must have dug a hole and sat there through the winters."

Friday night the Wellingtons got a call from a neighbor who lives a half mile up the road. Lucy was alive.

Now about 35 pounds heaver than when she left, the Wellingtons are confident this is their escape artist.

Lucy was extremely hungry when she came home.

The people who found her gave her two heads of lettuce. Then she ate a bunch of kale and summer squash.

Lucy is 10 years old now, and if future adventures end safely like this one, she could live to be 80 years old.

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